Art Walks the Gangplank by Joan Altabe

International Fine Art Expositions’ mega yacht, SeaFair is docked near Marina Jack’s through Monday, and the press release talks about everything but art.

by Joan Altabe

You call this an art show? Really” Check your press releases for hype, please. To this critic, at least, it’s just gray scud on the page. International Fine Art Expositions’ mega yacht, SeaFair is docked near Marina Jack’s through Monday, and the press release talks about everything but art. The only reference to art is that 28 “prestigious” galleries are represented (without naming one). You’re also told of “special artist exhibitions” (again, no names). And you’re told that SeaFair carries “paintings, sculptures, photography, studio glass and more from a wealth of international galleries” without another word about any of this.

Instead, you’re told that the yacht is 228-foot and cost $40 million, designed by “internationally-acclaimed designer Luis De Basto.” See? The boat designer gets a mention, not the exhibiting artists.

You’re also told that there’s a coffee bar, a deluxe lounge, an open-air champagne and caviar lounge, a formal glass-walled restaurant, an informal open-air restaurant and a cocktail reception area. And you’re told that “This is the most exciting thing to happen to Sarasota since Ringling brought the circus.”

But you’re not told how the exhibit examples are chosen. You’re not told that exhibitors pay a fixed weekly rental depending on gallery size which includes marketing. Each port visit is a rental period launched with catered opening evening gala.

You’re also not told that an endorsement from a Met curator is actually from the museum‘s costume department. Which accounts for the nature of the endorsement: “It’s festive and elegant. When you’re aboard, it’s very conducive to buying because you feel like you’re really away and on holiday.” If you want to frequent this thing, it’ll cost you $20 for a single-day and $30 for something called “Priority Boarding ticket.”

Art walks the gangplank.


Joan Altabe

Former visual arts critic for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the Bradenton Herald, former New York City art teacher and longtime award-winning art and architecture critic for U.S. and overseas publications, is referenced in “Who’s Who in American Art” and “Who’s Who of American Women” and currently writes as the St. Petersburg art Examiner and National art Examiner. Altabe has written several books including “Art Behind the Scenes” (100 painters in and out of their studio) and “Sculpture off the Pedestal” (25 sculptors in and out of their studio). Both available at Amazon.com.